Unions Must Stop Using Workers or Take No Pay

ActionSA notes, with concern, the mass protest action scheduled by COSATU and SAFTU set to take place on Wednesday this week.

ActionSA encourages the labour force not to be manipulated into participating in mass protest action for no pay if union bosses are not prepared to also forfeit their salaries on protest days.

While we appreciate the precipitous rise in the cost of living and the unacceptably high rates of unemployment, the economy cannot afford a mass shutdown. As our country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic which pushed South Africa ever closer to the precipice of recession, our economy simply cannot withstand such action.

It is incredibly bizarre that COSATU seems to be protesting against itself seeing as it is part of the governing Tripartite Alliance. If the union really had an interest in improving the working conditions for South Africa’s labour force, they would do well to effect that change through the Tripartite Alliance without risking more hardship for the workers they claim to support. 

We believe that this mass protest action has nothing at all to do with the workforce and everything to do with demonstrating its power ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in December this year. It is as disappointing as it is unsurprising that this self-interested political ploy comes at the expense of nearly a million workers.

We support the need for a Basic Income Grant as a safety net for those most vulnerable in our society, but we do not think this will be achieved by further depressing our economy through largescale protest action.

South Africa’s economy needs robust and innovative solutions to jumpstart it and that requires less interference and ransom demands on the government- which is what union bosses are doing with this ill-fated protest action.